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Chalion series (series of books)

Last modified: 2014-03-15 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: the curse of chalion | paladin of souls | mcmaster bujold (lois) | jokona | pelican | holy military order of the daughter |
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See also:

External:

  • The Bujold Nexus, an index of the pages relating to the Chalion series on the official and authorised Lois McMaster Bujold website.

Introduction

The novels The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold take place in a fictional setting based on the Iberian Peninsula of the late 15th century. (The prequel The Hallowed Hunt takes place a few centuries earlier.) The Bujold Nexus is the official and authorised Lois McMaster Bujold website. A map is available at the site, based on which the Wikipedia page identifies Chalion as Castile, Ibra as Aragon and Valencia, Brajar as Portugal, the Roknari princedoms as Moorish Andalusia, and Darthaca as France.

The books are quite good, and are not just alternate history; the setting is well-conceived, in particular the depth of its native theology. There are four or five deities adored by the peoples of these novels; there being a holy war between Quintarians and Quadrenes, of course.
Eugene Ipavec, 9 January 2008, and António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 October 2011


Princedom of Jokona

[pennant with white pelican(s) on a sea-green field]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 9 January 2008

The flag of the Princedom of Jokona is described in Paladin of Souls: A pennant with white pelican(s) in flight on a sea-green field (sometimes given in singular, sometimes plural, but it is unsure whether a plural of flags or of pelicans is meant).
Eugene Ipavec, 9 & 10 January 2008


Holy Orders

Holy Military Order of the Daughter

A pennant of the Templar-like Holy Military Order of the Daughter is mentioned in the books: Blue and white, but nothing further.
Eugene Ipavec, 9 January 2008


Colors for the Deities

In A Dictionary of ... The Curse of Chalon, the colors for all deities are given; it could be deduced that all 5 Holy Orders have pennants in their colors.

Father of Winter
«Colors are black and gray; acolytes wear gray.»
Mother of Summer
«Acolytes wear green.»
Son of Autumn
«Acolytes wear red-orange. Symbols include "weapons and animals and wine casks".»
Daughter of Spring
«Colors are blue and white.»
Bastard
«Acolytes wear white; rat and crow are sacred animals in Chalion, gull is sacred in Ibra.»

António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 October 2011

Maybe it could indeed be deduced that all Holy Orders have pennants in their colors, but this is less likely for another reference of symbolic colors in the same books:

mourning colors
«black and lavender»

António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 October 2011

From what I remember of the books, only the Son and Daughter have military orders. The Father and Mother's dedicats are concerned with civil administration and medicine respectively, while the Bastard runs social services.
Eugene Ipavec, 20 October 2011


Uniforms

Uniforms and other livery are a tricky match for flags in the real world. For what it's worth, these uniforms are also listed on A Dictionary of ... The Curse of Chalon:

  • Divine of the father — gray robe and carmine shoulder braid
  • Baocian guard — green and black
  • Soldier-brothers of the Lady of Spring — tabards of blue with sigil worked in white, gray cloaks, silver badges
  • Daughter's military order (Palli) — blue trousers and tunic, white tabard
  • Officer of the Taryoon Municipal Court — black-and-gray robes and red shoulder braid
  • Master physician — master's braid sewn over the shoulder of robes
  • Lay dedicat of the Temple Hospital of the Mother's Mercy — green robes
  • Arch-divine — five-colored robes
  • Court robes of the general of the Order of the Son — layers of brown, orange, and yellow
  • Court robes of the general of the Order of the Daughter — blue and white
  • Service livery of the Zangre — tunic and leggings and a knee-length tabard with the symbol of Chalion embroidered on it

All these seem to match the colors listed above, except for additional red in Father's uniforms.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 October 2011


Royacy of Chalion

The arms of the Royacy of Chalion are mentioned in the books. At The Bujold Nexus they are described thusly: «symbol is a royal leopard rampant upon a stylized castle«, which strengthens the inspiration on Leon-Castille.
Eugene Ipavec, 9 January 2008, and António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 October 2011